Cherry Blossom Fact File

Cherry Blossom Fact File

The cherry blossom is found in many places but is most common in its home country of Japan. The Japanese celebrate the beauty of the cherry trees coming into blossom annually during March and April in a festival called Hanami. This involves large groups of friends and families joining together to enjoy the beautiful views, relax and celebrate the beginning of Spring. This custom has been a tradition for centuries and is well-loved by many.

Cherry Blossom

The most popular cherry tree in Japan is the Somei Yoshino, which boasts white flowers tinged with a pale pink. However, there are over 200 more varieties worldwide with blossom colours including white, pink and yellow, and leaves including green and coppery brown. Even the shape and size of the trees varies – triangular, columnar, V-shape, weeping or flat-topped. Each one is as eye-catching as the next.

The period in which cherry trees blossom depends on the climate they are exposed to and their variety. The earliest happens in January and the latest in October. The Prunus Subhirtella is the first group to flower in the ‘early season’. Varieties in this group are the Autumnalis (with its upright shape and pale pink flowers), Pendula (with its beautiful weeping shape with pale pink flowers), and Fukubana (with small, double, bright pink flowers). Prunus X Yedoensis is the second group to flower in the ‘mid-season’. Varieties in this group include the Amanogawa, which boasts attractive and fragrant double shell-pink flowers. Trees that blossom in the ‘late season’ are the Fugenzo (with large, double bright pink flowers), Ojochin (with large, single white flowers), Mikuruma-gaeshi (with pale pink flowers in dense clusters), Shirotae (with fragrant, double white flowers), Tai Haku (with large, single white flowers), and Ukon (with yellowish green double flowers).

Cherry Blossom Images

The cherry tree is typically thought to bear cherries – however, many of the trees are infertile and do not produce any fruit at all. This is because they have been bred to enhance the flower at the expense of the fruit itself – so they are known as ‘ornamental’ cherries.

The blossom of a cherry tree is breathtaking but only lasts a week to ten days (that is if the natural elements aren’t too harsh). This intense beauty and short survival span mean cherry blossoms are associated with the beauty, fragility and fleeting nature of human life. They are also associated with mortality, love, good fortune and affection. These meanings have been depicted in art, clothing (kimonos) and pottery throughout the centuries.

Cherry Blossom Flowers

Cherry Blossom Flowers

The flowers themselves are actually edible and are used in many Japanese foods. They can be pickled in salt to coax out sweet flavours and eaten. Mixing them with hot water is also common – the drink created is called ’sakurayu’ and is drunk at festive events.

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This entry was postedon Monday, March 22nd, 2010 at 8:57 pmand is filed under Cherry Blossom, Fact Files.You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “Cherry Blossom Fact File”

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